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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 67 that has slowly turned into a not so fun ride. There is a lot of stiffness in the wheel on center and when making initial turns at any speed. It seems to be the same feel when on the ground and off. the steering wheel underway will literally stay where ever it is turned with no attempt to return to center. I have eliminated anything in the column it spins free disconnected from the box. With the Pittman arm disconnected the front wheels turn seemingly easy and with equal effort both ways. It has had the jeep box upgrade and a LS motor and pump in it for years. I replaced the pump and box with no good results. The car has 18" tiers all stock front end geometry except for 2" drop springs. Sub frame connectors solid body bushings rear mono leaf with slapper bars. I got an alignment done 10 years ago with all the mods in place. I put the stock school bus wheel back on because i am sick of wrenching on the aftermarket 14" wheel. Besides getting it realigned not sure where to go from here......Also i should add that randomly while driving the steering will loosen up and feel somewhat normal but will return again to a stiff almost binding feeling.
 

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Did you install a used Jeep box? Jeep boxes are notorious for problems. Would not be my first choice. At the very least use a reman box. If it turns fine without it hooked up, I would suspect the box.
 

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Yes i just installed another NEW remand jeep box. replacing the remanded jeep box that has been in it for several years before this whole tight steering that comes and goes still. I started by installing a new pump as it felt like everything was getting harder like the power assist was just failing or intermittently working. then i moved to the box which changed nothing as well. So at least i have a new pump and box..... I guess maybe one of the steering components is binding but only when weighted by the can and i cannot test?
 

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I am not that familiar with Jeep boxes but Normally I would say the fine adjustment screw on the top of the box needs backed off. But if you had this problem with the old box and now the same with the new one, that kind of blows that idea.

Roger
 

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You could take it to a lube shop with a pit, or an alignment shop and check it with vehicle weight on it. If it's binding there should be some scraping evidence I would think. I assume everything is greased up, sometimes ball joints will do it, but the Cherokee boxes do what you are describing. Since you have replaced the box, I would try the getting under it while loaded.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am guessing its gonna be a bad ball joint knowing that the 2" drop has probably been rough on them. The car handles amazingly similar to my 2014 SS Camaro minus the heavy lifting of the wheel. Super tight and responsive perhaps to tight pun intended....
 

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Pump some grease in them and if it makes a temp fix that's your answer.
 

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OP

I recently experienced this where the wheel would bind and would not return on its own. This was after replacing sub-frame bushings and later my rag joint. My steering box and pump are original and working fine.

I took it to a shop thinking my castor was off. The tech had the car up on the lift with suspension loaded but wheels on the swivel plates he would use to do alignment. He said he could see a slight witness mark of the rag joint rubbing the steering box and felt the column was in to far. He said loosen all the column bolts AND the 3 (4 if 69) of the plate that mounts to firewall that steering column goes through. He said the column itself was misaligned

I brought it back home and raised the front supported by jackstands under A arms as he suggested and loosened all the bolts including the through bolt of the rag joint on steering box spline shaft. Pulled the column back some and shifted the column flange bracket to firewall and turned the wheel lock to lock a few times then adjusted the loosened flange plate again. The steering returned to normal and I tightened everything down and all is good now.

Given your box swaps, frame mounts and rag joint if that was replaced your column itself may need some "adjusting" assuming your new rebuilt Jeep box is not the cause. Other than some time there is no cost to adjusting your column alignment. I found mine was further into the car by about 1/4" from the witness marks of the 3 column hold down holes connecting the column to dash. Likely more due to a new, thicker than old worn, rag joint replacement. The plate that is secured to firewall the column goes through has larger holes in it allowing adjustable movement up/down/L/R to assist in centering the column to steering box. There may be some RTV type sealant holding it to firewall on interior side but mine did move once I loosened the bolts holding it on
 

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JMT's, but the Camaro is beyond its original design.
Original design, tire width is 7+ inch wide tread and a steering box box with X-amount of ratio.
Think of rear axle ratio, the lower numerical ratio, the more torque needed for the same acceleration rate as with a higher numerical ratio.
Now, a lower numerical ratio box installed thus requiring more manual input in turning the steering wheel, say going from a 4:1 box to a 2:1 box.
Plus the fact of a wider tire, more contact , read friction, with the road surface. Imagine a contact area with a 7 inch tire compared to anything larger in size, more friction.
Adding the these two factors, lower numerical steering box, and a larger contact tire patch, more manual input will be needed in turning the steering wheel, if other factors remain the same.

I suggest in borrowing a set of smaller width tires/wheels whom fit and compare the results. I guarantee less effort will be needed.
 

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Glad it helped Op. I. like you, thought one of the components in my steering system was failing or alignment was off and in my case assumed it would be fixed when I discovered, while under the car, my rag joint was torn. Replaced that and problem was still there only worse.

Once I found out the why from the guy at the suspension/steering shop I used (BTW he didn't even charge me for checking everything) I did what I posted and steering was back to "normal". Hindsight changing parts (sub frame bushings, rag joint) both affected the geometry of steering column which I never considered nor found anything when I searched body bushing or rag joint threads/videos nothing was ever said about the steering column being affected but now after the fact learned it does.

If there is a "how to align steering column" topic in a Service manual that would have been great so had to figure out how to adjust the column geometry by trial & error

Also I agree with the posts made about tighter ratio steering boxes, smaller steering wheels, wider tires all affect what "effort" it takes to turn the wheel and all valid points to take into consideration.
 
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